Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Dish with Children in a Garden

Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279)
13th century
Silver with repoussé decoration and gilding
H. 3/4 in. (1.9 cm); Diam. 6 1/4 in. (15.9 cm); Diam. of foot 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Florence and Herbert Irving Gift, in honor of Brooke Astor's one-hundredth birthday, 2002
Accession Number:
Not on view
The theme of children at play, which expresses a wish for the birth of children and the concomitant joys they engender, is a ubiquitous motif in Chinese decorative arts from as early as the tenth century. Some of the figures seen on this dish—for example, the two boys at left, one riding a hobbyhorse and the other holding a lotus leaf—are a stock figural grouping, appearing on art objects until the seventeenth century. The cluster of leafy palms with rocks and the balustrade enclosing a lotus pond are standard features of Chinese garden designs.
[ J. J. Lally & Co. , New York, until 2002; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The "Hundred Antiques"," February 18, 2006–October 31, 2006.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Red and Black: Chinese Lacquer, 13th–16th Century," September 7, 2011–June 10, 2012.

Related Objects

Dish in the Shape of a Leaf

Date: late 7th–early 8th century Medium: Silver with parcel gilding Accession: 1974.268.11 On view in:Gallery 207

Service with Decoration of Flowers and Birds

Date: late 13th–early 14th century Medium: Silver with gilding Accession: 1997.33.1–.6 On view in:Not on view

Dish with long-tailed birds and hollyhock

Date: 14th century Medium: Carved red lacquer Accession: 2011.120.1 On view in:Gallery 221

Standing Shiva (?)

Date: 11th century Medium: Gilt-copper alloy, silver inlay Accession: 1988.355 On view in:Gallery 249

Bottle with Peony Scroll

Date: mid-14th century Medium: Porcelain painted with cobalt blue under a transparent glaze (Jingdezhen ware) Accession: 26.271.1a, b On view in:Gallery 204